Understanding Michael Porter

Understanding Michael Porter

The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy

by Joan Magretta

Why this is on my list.

Michael Porter is the godfather of competitive strategy and the concept of competitive advantage, which has become a pretty common term in marketing nomenclature – many of us have never stopped to think about where this came from. Porter’s Five Forces are also explained here, laying the groundwork for market conditions and guiding decision making. I wasn’t familiar with these before reading the book, but I’ve noticed mentions and themes threaded throughout a range of strategy and marketing material I’ve been taking in lately.

One major takeaway.

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. There’s a fundamental distinction between strategy and operational effectiveness. Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.”

-Michael Porter

Who I recommend this for.

Anyone who works strategically, or is working to get there, as well as anyone running a business or thinking about starting one. Author Joan Magretta does a great job of breaking down Porter’s vast library of insight so that it’s fairly easy to take in and understand.

I’ll probably read this two or three more times.